GRAND FORKS, N.D. – The University of North Dakota baseball team rebounded from a 7-6 defeat in game one to post a 7-2 victory in game two and earn a doubleheader split against U-Mary on Senior Day at Kraft Field.
The Sioux (13-26) dropped a tight contest in game one, but earned the split behind a complete game effort by sophomore Sam Anderson (Bemidji, Minn.) and a pair of early RBI’s in the nightcap from designated hitter Aaron Cook (Erskine, Minn.).
“After losing a tough one in the opener, we got a tremendous outing from Sam Anderson in game two,” UND head coach Jeff Dodson said. “He was really in command out there and battled throughout to give us a chance for the split.
“Offensively, Aaron Cook really carried us today. He had those two homers in the first game, but really came up with some big RBI’s in the second game.”
In game two, Anderson (2-1) held U-Mary hitless until the fourth inning when Ben Herauf reached on an infield single. The visitors could muster only four hits in the contest and plate just their only two runs in the sixth inning off Anderson.
The Marauders threatened for more that frame after Tyler Liffrig drove in two runs with a double and nobody out. But, Anderson regrouped and posted one of his five strikeouts before inducing Casey Gray to line into a double play to end the inning.
The Sioux offense came to life in their half of the sixth to push across four insurance runs, giving Anderson a five-run cushion to work with in the seventh. Anderson would not need them though as he promptly retired the side in order and secured the first complete-game of his career. The Sioux finished 5-3 at Kraft Field this season.
Cook had a big day at the plate, going 3-for-7 with six RBI in the twinbill. After homering twice in game one, the left-handed batter had an RBI-single in the first and a sacrifice fly in the third to give Anderson a three-run advantage to work with early on.
Sophomore Josh Lagein (Devils Lake, N.D.) came through with the big hit in the sixth as his single through the left side drove in a pair of runs to ignite the four-run frame for the Sioux. Senior Andrew Marek (East Grand Forks, Minn.) followed with an RBI-single and junior Andrew Gudmunson (Minot, N.D.) capped the scoring with a sacrifice fly to right.
Sophomore Jake Magner (Grand Rapids, Minn.) responded after going hitless in two consecutive games for the first time this season, by going 3-for-4 with a double in the nightcap.
In game one, Cook‘s two homers and four RBI were not enough to beat the Marauders, who edged the Sioux by a single run behind a complete effort by starter Daniel Massenburge.
U-Mary jumped out to a quick lead in the first on a two-run homer by Liffrig, which was his team-leading 11th of the campaign.
However, the Sioux answered right back in their half of the first, equaling their best opening-frame of the season with four runs. After a pair of walks put two on with two out, Cook launched a three-run homer deep over the rightfield fence. Catcher Ryne Jungling (Mandan, N.D.) capped the scoring with an RBI-double, extending his hitting streak to six games.
The Sioux nearly chased Massenburge from the game in the opening frame as U-Mary bullpen action heated up, but the lefthander settled down and would not need any help from his fellow hurlers.
The Marauders got a two-run double by Maurice Burrough in the second to tie the game at 4-4. Burrough was thrown out at third on the play trying to stretch the two-base hit into a triple.
The Sioux put pressure on the Marauders starter in both the second and third innings, leaving two man stranded in both frames, but Massenburge was able to work out of those jams.
Sioux starter Brandon Baumgartner (Coon Rapids, Minn.) settled down as well after the second to keep the Marauders off the scoreboard over the next two innings.
The fifth inning was a different story as U-Mary tallied two runs to regain the lead at 6-4. A balk by Baumgartner scored the first run before Andy Leer hit a solo home run to left.
UND got one of those runs back in its half of the fifth taking advantage of a failed pickoff attempt. Nelson, who singled for the second time in the game, stole his third base and advanced to third on that error and later scored on a sacrifice fly by Jungling.
The Marauders took advantage of an error to push across a critical insurance run in the seventh and extend their advantage to 7-5. Leer ended up driving in Dan Eichele with an RBI-single after he reached on a miscue by Nelson at shortstop.
Massenburge retired the first two Sioux in the seventh before Cook made things interesting with his second home run of the game. His solo shot was an opposite field shot that banged off the Kraft Field scoreboard.
Nelson then walked and stole his fourth base of the game to tie a UND single-game record. He made it to third, but Massenburge was able to strikeout Jungling on a check swing to end the contest.
UND concludes its first season in Division I this weekend with a four-game series at Northern Iowa. First pitch of game one is set for 6:30 p.m. on Friday. The teams will play a doubleheader on Saturday, followed by a single game on Sunday.
– Go Sioux –